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Providence Day wins Observer’s 2023 Sweet 16 football poll. Get the final rankings

Providence Day began the season No. 1 in The Charlotte Observer’s Sweet 16 poll. The Chargers end the season in the same spot.

After winning its third straight NC Independent Schools’ Division I state championship, Providence Day finishes the season No. 1 in the region’s oldest high school poll. The poll is sponsored by Deer Park Water.

The Chargers were one of two teams to win state titles this season. On Saturday, Weddington (14-2) beat Wilmington Hoggard 56-21 to win the NCHSAA 4A public school championship.

Providence Day beat nationally-ranked Rabun Gap (GA) 34-27 to win the NCISAA private school title, at Rabun Gap, last month. Heading into that state final, Rabun Gap, which has played in the N.C. private school league for years, was the No. 1 ranked team, public or private, in North Carolina.

The Sweet 16, which began in the 1984-85 season, ranks the top teams in the media company’s coverage area, which includes schools in the following counties: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lancaster, Lincoln, Union and York.

Rankings are based on strength of schedule, strength of a classification, team success within that classification and head-to-head competition between teams ranked in the Sweet 16. It does not consider how ranked teams would fare against each other — or other unranked teams — unless those teams actually meet.

As Sweet 16 champion, Providence Day received a banner to hang its gym. The Chargers, who won the banner in 2022, are the first private school to repeat as champion.